Tag Archives: running in cold weather

Week 11 of Training for the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon

Today I ran my third race of the year. As a result, this week’s training was primarily focused on being ready for the race. The majority of this post will also focus on the race since that was the highlight of my week. Overall I had a 70 km week.

Other than this morning’s race my week consisted of easy paced runs. This week I upped the mileage of those runs with them ranging from 10-12 km.

This morning’s race was a race that I have done for 6 years in a row now. It is a half-marathon along the Rideau Canal. The best part for me is that it starts and finishes close to home so I can get a decent warm up by taking an easy run over there.

With it being a little over 1 month before Ottawa Race Weekend in the past I have gone in to this race with a time goal in mind. This year I tried not to obsess about it as much as I may have in the past. My only goal was to run a sub 1:30 time. Last year I ran 1:26 but was not convinced that beating that time was a realistic goal this year.

Unfortunately with temperature of -10C (14F) at the start this morning was the colder than the previous years I ran this race. By way of comparison last year I ran this race in shorts and short sleeves. Fortunately the fact that I live close to the start line meant that I did not have to leave too early.

The fact that this tends to be a small race means that you tend to see the same faces this year. I met a few friends before the start again this year. Once again this year I planned to head out with a friend I met through this blog. We did this for at least the last 2 years with good results. What was different this year is that instead of us being on our own once the crowd thins out after the start we had a group of 4 or 5 runners that stayed together for most of the race.

We crossed the half in about 42 minutes so based on that I was confident we would hit our target of a sub 1:30 finish. The pace started to feel tougher after about 16 km but I managed to hang on for the last 5 km. I finished in 1:28 which is my third fastest time in this race.

I’m pleased with the result. I met the goal I set for myself without taking much of a taper this week. With just over 1 month to go until the marathon this result was a good confidence boost. Now my sole focus will be on getting ready for the marathon and taking another shot at a 3:10 finish.

Week 3 of Training for the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon

My third week of training or the Ottawa Marathon is already complete. This week was intended to be a recovery week and I stuck to the plan. I did miss a scheduled run yesterday but with it being -28C (-18F), or -40 with the windchill, it was probably a good thing I was too busy to get in the run.

Once again this week I had a good interval session at the track Thursday night. This week we opted for a bit of a ladder workout consisting of 400m, 800m, 1200m, 1600m and another 800m to finish. So far I am pleased with my splits at the track. So far I am able to match the paces I was running during my fall training cycle.

Since it was still pretty cold out today I made my second trip to the dome this week this afternoon…

My schedule called for 23-24 km today. I managed 54 laps of the track good enough for 21.6 km. I was pleased with that. I find the first half of long runs at the track to be tough but it is a great to have a backup plan when the conditions outside are not great.

This week I also did my first strength workout of this training cycle. My plan is to keep up with strength workouts twice per week. It will be an important part of my training once again.

How was your week?

Week 10 of Training for the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon


This week my training plan called for my biggest week in terms of mileage so far. After taking a bit of a recovery week last week my goal was to aim for 90 km this week. With this morning’s long run I managed to hit my target for the week. With eight weeks to go until race day it was a nice milestone to hit. I really feel like my training is going well at this point. 

Before I hit my long run this week My two key runs were 15 km threshold and speed workouts done Tuesday and Thursday. My current training plan has me adding more mileage to Tuesday and Thursday runs. I’m used to hitting 10-11 km midweek but 15 km runs at the paces I ran this week were a good confidence boost this week. 

Tuesday morning’s threshold run was an early morning effort with me heading out the door at 5:30 to do 15 km consisting of 6.4 km at 4:17/km, a 5 minute jog, 10 sets of 100 m at 3:34/km and a 30 second jog ending with a cool down. As I wrote in Tuesday’s post the run was a great way to get the day started.

As mentioned, Thursday’s speed workout was another 15 km effort. This time it was a speed workout consisting of an easy 3.2 km warm up, 6 sets of 200m at 3:34/km followed by a 200m jog, 3.2 km at 4:43/km, another 6 sets of 200m at 3:34/km followed by a 200m jog and ending with a cool down.

Even though spring is officially here I had to add layers for both of my weekend runs as the temperature dipped back below freezing. The long term forecast says they will be the last two days below freezing. I am hoping that will be the case so I can get in some runs in warmer temperatures before race weekend. 

This morning my plan called for 24-25 km. Since I was feeling good and I had not yet gone up to 30 km in this cycle I went for a 30 km run. I kept the pace to an easy and steady effort. Even though I did 28 km twice over the past few weeks there is something different about getting to 30 km. it probably makes very little difference physically but mentally I find it gives me an extra boost.

As mentioned it was below freezing when I headed out, cold enough to freeze the tubes on my hydrapak not long after I started. Fortunately it started to warm up after the first hour. This was the scene as I hit the halfway point of my run..


How did your week go?

Week 9 of Training for the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon


After three consecutive weeks of just over 80 km this week was a bit of a recovery week for me. After today’s long run I ended the week with 67 km. Starting tomorrow my plan for tomorrow is to get back to full training with another big week of training that should be by biggest week of training so far in this training cycle. 

In addition to reducing my mileage this week I also reduced the intensity of most of my runs. Other than my tempo run Wednesday my remaining runs throughout the week were done at an easy pace. Next week I will get back to my usual routine of adding some speed work on Thursday. 

Wednesday’s tempo run was a solid workout. This week’s scheduled workout involved 2.8 km easy followed by 2 x 3.2 km @ 4:10/km and 2:00 easy ending with a 3 km cool down. With my other runs coming at an easier pace it felt good to have an opportunity to push the pace this week.

The weather was also more of a mixed bag this week. After some recent spring like weather the last two days were a reminder that winter is not quite over. Yesterday I ran in wet snow that made for slippery sidewalks while this morning it was -15C and felt like -25 with the windchill when I headed out for 28 km. Hopefully spring weather will be on the way soon!

As mentioned to start this upcoming week should be my biggest week of training so far with a target of 90 km planned. With race weekend about two months away now my biggest weeks of mileage overall are all still ahead of me. My next race, the Run for Reach half-marathon, is just a few weeks away now as well.

How did your week go?

Is Spring on the Way?

Now that I am writing this post the weather will probably take a turn for the worse and the extreme cold weather will return but for this weekend at least it felt like spring was on the way with above 0 temperatures the past two days. It certainly made for more pleasant runs this weekend.

Yesterday I managed to get the Chariot out for the first time this year and take my youngest daughter with me for my run. The only downside to the run was having to dodge large puddles caused by the warmer weather…


This morning was time for my long run. After watching the gold medal game in men’s hockey at the Olympics I headed out for my run. Once again the temperature was just above freezing, perfect for a 25 km run…


As I write this the weather forecast came on tv and indeed colder weather will be back this week so it looks like the spring-like weather while it lasted. Hopefully we won’t have to wait too long for the next stretch of warmer temperatures.

Winter Running


Winter is not even one month old and we have already had an eventful one here. From large snowfalls, frigid temperatures to freezing rain running conditions here over the past few weeks have not always been easy. Fortunately I have been able to keep up with my regular runs. I have had to take advantage of indoor running at the dome for my Thursday intervals and a recent long run.

The only thing that stopped me from running so far this winter was the recent freezing rain we received. When we get a recent amount it can make for pretty dangerous conditions. This past Saturday I attempted to go out for my scheduled run but did not make it to the end of the street because of this…


The snow and the cold does not bother me so much. As long as the sidewalks have been ploughed relatively the snow does not really impact my runs. As for the cold, except for the few extremely cold days I still prefer to run outside when I can. Here is me on December 17, technically not winter but it started early here this year. This was taken when I got home from running home from work when it was -19 C, -28 with windchill (-1 F, -19 with windchill)…


Winter is just getting started so I will have a few more months of this weather to run in.

How does winter weather impact your running?

Saturday Stories

It is time once again for another edition of Saturday Stories, a collection of some of my favourite stories and blog posts from the past week. As always, if you came across anything you feel is worthy of mention here feel free to post a link below.

Here are this week’s stories…

How to stay motivated for every run.

Tips for more efficient running in cold weather.

A list of races that feature beer.

Since I am running this one next week, tips for running Around the Bay.

Running on a Treadmill

I’ve written before about how I am not a big fan of running on a treadmill. For me the issue is that I don’t find it stimulating and find it harder to stay motivated. Every year, due to the weather, I find myself heading for a treadmill in order to get in a run.

With the temperature dipping below -20 and getting close to -30 with the windchill I will probably get in a couple of treadmill runs. Tonight was my first treadmill run of the year. I managed to complete 8 km (5 miles) at a fairly easy pace.

As I mentioned I find it harder to stay motivated when I run on a treadmill. I need something to keep me distracted otherwise my eyes drift to the display screen on the treadmill so I can figure out how much time I have left.

Fortunately tonight there were a couple of hockey games on tv to keep me busy. The end of the NHL lockout helped me tonight. With the temperature not expected to get much warmer before Friday I may find myself heading for another treadmill run before the end of the week. If I do I will have to make sure and time it while hockey is on tv again!

Do you enjoy running on a treadmill?

Cold Weather Running

The past two days we have had our first experiences with cold weather here this winter with the temperature hitting close to -25 with the windchill. For me this is not yet too cold to run outside although it is close. Had it been any colder I may have opted for a treadmill or an extra day of rest.

Living where I do this type of weather is a reality for a few months a year. As a result if I want to continue running year-round running in this type of weather is a necessity. Since I brought the proper clothing and enough layers the cold really did not impact my runs the last two nights although I did realize that I do need a pair of warmer gloves to wear when it gets this cold.

Here is a shot of me when I got home.

IMG_0399How does the cold weather impact your running?